Sustainable Drainage Systems - written statement, further consultation and responses to consultation

The government has published responses to consultation on using the planning system to secure sustainable drainage systems and issued new consultation on a proposal to make lead local flood authorities a statutory consultee on planning applications for surface water management.

The government has published its response to consultation explaining how they expect that sustainable drainage systems will be provided in new developments wherever this is appropriate. To this effect, they expect local planning policies and decisions on planning applications relating to major development - developments of 10 dwellings or more; or equivalent non-residential or mixed development (as set out in Article 2(1) of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010) - to ensure that sustainable drainage systems for the management of run-off are put in place, unless demonstrated to be inappropriate.

Under these arrangements, in considering planning applications, local planning authorities should consult the relevant lead local flood authority on the management of surface water; satisfy themselves that the proposed minimum standards of operation are appropriate and ensure through the use of planning conditions or planning obligations that there are clear arrangements in place for ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the development. The sustainable drainage system should be designed to ensure that the maintenance and operation requirements are economically proportionate.

A written statement issued by the CLG states that to protect the public whilst avoiding excessive burdens on business, this policy will apply to all developments of 10 homes or more and to major commercial development. The government will keep this under review, and consider the need to make adjustments where necessary. The current requirement in national policy that all new developments in areas at risk of flooding should give priority to the use of sustainable drainage systems will continue to apply.

These changes will take effect from 6 April 2015. For avoidance of doubt the statement should be read in conjunction with the policies in the NPPF. This statement should be taken into account in the preparation of local and neighbourhood plans, and may be a material consideration in planning decisions.

To support local authorities in implementing these changes, the CLG will publish revised planning guidance in time for the policy changes to take effect, and engage with local government on a capacity building programme.

In addition the CLG has begun consulting on a proposal to make lead local flood authorities a statutory consultee on planning applications for surface water management; and makes changes to the statutory consultee role of the Environment Agency to better reflect the Agency’s strategic expertise and reflect the new responsibilities for local flood management exercised by lead local flood authorities.

Date: 18/12/2014 Date of publication

Author: CLG

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 4.165

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